Interface Turns Fishing Nets into Carpet


Jan 8, 2012 | Enviromental Leader

Carpet tile manufacturer Interface and conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are expanding a pilot project that turns discarded fishing nets into recycled material for carpet tiles.

The partners say their program, called Net-Works, also provides socio-economic benefits for coastal communities.

In the pilot’s first month, Filipino fishermen and their families collected one ton of fishing net from the sand and sea, where nets can harm the environment and marine life. The fishermen cleaned up beaches in four communities near Danajon Bank, a threatened coral reef in the Philippines.

Most nylon from these fishing nets is the same material used to make carpet yarn, and Interface says the collection effort will help it reduce its use of virgin raw materials.

According to the carpet company’s most recent sustainability report, 44 percent of the raw materials Interface used in 2011 were from recycled or bio-based sources, up from 40 percent in 2010, 4 percent in 2004 and just 1 percent in 1996.

Interface and ZSL say Net-Works operations are now scaling up, with the intention of developing commercial carpet tiles incorporating the collected nets later this year.

Collection systems will now be set up in at least 15 villages, involving more than 280 impoverished households. The goal is to collect 20 tons of nets by the end of April, which will generate funds for the communities where, according to the partners, family incomes are typically less than $157 a month.

ZSL says it will continue to monitor the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the project in 2013, and will explore opportunities to expand the partnership to other parts of the world. It also plans to develop a toolkit to help other groups and organizations establish Net-Works supply hubs.

In the fall of 2012, cleaning product company Method launched a two-in-one hand and dish soap that comes in bottles made from plastic recovered from the ocean, blended with post-consumer recycled plastic. Scientists estimate that several million tons of plastic make their way into the oceans every year, polluting the environment and hurting marine life, Method says.

In November, Environmental Leader reported that Schnitzer Steel is working with fishermen to recycle unusable heavy equipment such as nets. Schnitzer is working with waste-to-energy company Covanta to extract the nets’ steel components and recycle them into new products, while Covanta is using much of the non-steel components to create electricity.


Upcoming Events & Seminars

More Events »

Whipp Tips & News

Sweden’s largest pension fund just gave Exxon Mobil and other energy giants a stinging slap on the face

Sweden’s largest pension fund, AP7, has sold its investments in six energy companies that it says breach the Paris climate agreement

Details »

Fund Selector: ESG myths and realities

There are plenty of companies that make a positive contribution to society and the environment that have also performed extremely well.

Details »

Top UK fund manager divests from fossil fuels

Archbishop of Canterbury plays crucial role in BMO Global Asset Management’s decision to dump £20m of shares in firms such as BHP Billiton

Details »

More News »


:www.leedejonesgable.com

The information in this website was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate or complete. The information provided is a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell securities.

Leede Jones Gable Inc. is a
Member of IIROC and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund
Stephen Whipp is a member of the Responsible Investment Association